I think the penalties for committing "identity theft" are much too leniant. I read once where some woman who was convicted of multiple charges of i.t. recieved a 3-year prison sentence.
I think that's outrageous! Three years? For ruining HOW many people's lives? And to think some pathetic 25-year-old sapsucker gets 5 years for having a brief "love affair" with a 15-year-old which never even culminated in "going-all-the-way"---just dating, flirting, and heavy petting, then---POOF---done and over with. And for that 5 years plus registering as a "sex offender" for 10 years afterwards upon release.
But, somehow, society can't see the similarity between identity theft and those more-despised acts such as molesting someone, robbing someone, embezzling from someone's account, or framing someone else for something insidious and/or atrocious of one's own doing.
Identity thieves either: loot from another person's financial account ---or: commit a heinous act, then use another person's name to cover up their deeds.
And in a society where we're all, pretty much, forced to depend upon it's economic systems as well as upon reputation and personal credibility, the loss of either personal finances or one's good name is tantamount to being robbed, raped, embezzled, or framed.
Personally, I think the minimum sentence for any kind of identity theft should be 30 years---for first-time offenders.
If one thinks that, perhaps, I might be thinking a little Draconianly, so be it.
As you may or may not know, I'm 57 years old---and STILL SINGLE. ...and I've never had any children. ---no kidding!
I probably should "feel funny" considering that most men my age are most likely grandfathers. Or at least belated parents anyway.
But the way I look at it: I have, already: a landlord; an apartment: fellow tenants; social services; the postal system; the bank at which I have a checking account; the utility companies; all the local businesses (laundromat, supermarket, and a few others). I figure, with all those "relations" to deal with and whose dumb mistakes I sometimes need to try to correct, I find that, on-and-off, I end up being the "babysitter" in spite of the fact that they're the ones who are supposed to be in control, not me.
...I figure "Thank God I DON'T have the real thing to deal with." I can't see actually having grown kids, a wife, and grandchildren and STILL putting up with dysfunctional apartments and incompetent businesses and clueless fellow citizens---who sometimes tend to get a litte "defensive" if you dare to criticize them about anything. Those alone, all by themselves, are plenty enough "extended families" for me.
I STILL remember all the times I had to move back in with my parents in between stints of out-of-town residencies coupled with brief bouts of employment. No thanks for the real thing, because that would put all the dysfunctionalisms back under-the-same-roof-with-me.
We all know how just about every major place-of-employment is "downsizing" to (presumably) "save money". How everyone from major corporations to government agencies are closing branch offices and eliminating most, if not all, of their different departments. And how, as a result, they're laying-off employees left-and-right.
And yet these companies and government agencies are still purporting to carry out the same functions and provide the same services they always have---but just with less divisions, branches, and employees to do so with.
Now, mind you, I've yet to figure out the merit and logic to this sort of mindset.
By now we've all read/heard about all the riots breaking out during all the recent "Occupy Movement" demonstrations. And everyone seems to want to "take sides" on this issue.
As for me? Well, I don't think it's a matter of which side is "in the right" and which one is "in the wrong". That type of reasoning is way too simplistic.
The only explanation for all the mayhem is that of human nature. Everyone knows the #1 afflicton of humanity is a psycho-phenominon known as "human frailty". The notion of some people being "culprits" and others being "the victims" is purely a fantasy---a total fairy-tale. There are no "innocents" among any of us. We're all guilty of something.
And humans have a propensity for "mirroring their environment" if they're in a certain environment long enough---or if their surroundings are intense enough. Hence, turbulent environment with pandemonium all around triggers of those same elements in even the most otherwise sane and rational individuals, causing them to react to the environment in the same manner as the way those around them are behaving.
The police officers who are responding with excessive violence towards the demonstrators are probably officers who, under more normal circumstances, might usually be well-mannered. Likewise there are probably a lot of demonstrators who are simply standing or marching and holding their signs, simply just "trying to get their message across", but are being drowned-out by all the noisy overzealous radicals who are getting all the attention with their erratic and anarchic behavior---and these "radical" types are the ones primarily responsible for agitating the officers who, being affected by the overall atmosphere and chaos, are responding in a manner similar to what they're dealing with.
Leave it up to a few scofflaws and crude louts among each faction---both the fanatically radical amongst the demonstrators and hot-shot/obsessively despotic amongst the police---and all hell breaks loose. And the problem is, once the immediate social environment is "infected" by such an atmosphere even the most even-tempered among the crowds "fall into" this mindset---and all discretion goes-out-the-window. ...which is why a lot of even those who-were-still-behaving-peacefully-in-spite-of-all-the-mayhem STILL get batted-around and roughed-up. Because everyone else around them is suffering from temporary insanity.
Me? I always avoid large crowds and main events myself. I don't even go to rock concerts---I'll just stay home and listen to music on my stereo. I'm one of those you "couldn't even PAY to attend Mardi Gras"---simply because of the "pandemonium potential" of such an environment. Let's face facts: people are anarchists by nature, no matter who they are or what their position-in-life is.
As the Bible states: Man has ruled over other men with great injury. ...or, better stated: No matter how well-written or well-intended a law, it's still enforced by designated mortals---who are still vulnerable to the same frailties and temptations as the rest of us. ...or, a law or rule is only as good as it's enforcement and how well it's interpreted. ...Which explains corruption and on-again/off-again misappropriation of management and authority.
As someone who wishes to remain neutral and refrain from "taking sides", this is how it all appears to me.
Well... Starting tomorrow life as we know it ceases to be for a period of 36 hours. That's right, everything closes except for the bars and clubs. It's what's known as mandated holiday worship ritual. Mandated by the eternal "International Inquisition"---for centuries now. And we have no choice but to abide. So... Three "Christmas" songs on my list for you... ...each one of these selections were single hits during late-winter and early-spring ---yet are still quite fitting for "the season": SONG OF JOY Miguel Rios (May 1970) JOY Apollo 100 (Feb 1972) NUTROCKER B. Bumble & the Stingers (Mar/Apr 1962) ...and also by Emerson Lake & Palmer (Feb 1972)
I'm getting tired of computers. Especially hard-drives which can't make up their mind whether-or-not to "let me on the internet". When I use a gadget I expect it to work and operate according to expectations based on the protocols of predetermined designated functions. What is there about all these "high-tech" contraptions that efficiency and promptness seem to be little more than an empty promise? Going on the internet is, more often than not, like being in the waiting room of a doctor's office. Nothing to do but just sit there and look around you, bored shitless while you're just waiting---and waiting---and waiting! Everything has to be "processed", you know. One byte at a time. (Remember, when you were a kid, any time you were at the dinner table and were eating too fast your parents would always caution you: Eat your food one bite at a time.) Answer me one question: Did we ever have such problems with any of the past technologies? Transister radios...record players...hi-fi's...stereo systems...tape decks... ...back then, all one had to do was "press a button" or "flick a switch" and viola: Instant Music (or at least instant sound). It's like the only "digital technology" I actually like is CDs, DVDs, CD and DVD players. They're the only "digital" gadgets which seem to actually "work promptly" when called upon to serve their user. If one stops to think about it, it's really a betrayal of trust. You're being promised a unit which will deliver a certain type of performance and will perform certain functions ...but then craps out on you at the most inopportune time, or falls short in critical areas, not living up to all of it's grandiose promises. Computers only come through for you when they FEEL like doing so. ...and they're always so unpredictable at that, too. Moody gadgets...it's almost as bad as having roommates or staying with relatives...
I think I've mentioned this before, but I'm not as concerned about whether-or-not anything I do or say offends others. Frankly, I think the idea that one has to stop-doing-whatever-they're-doing (or were-planning-on-doing) simply because one person or one small group "has a problem with it" is ridiculous. Why are they always putting so much power-and-control in the hands of select "overpriviledged" individuals? Why do such types get to have so much command over the social environment? Why are a select few endowed with the right to determine what kind of social climate the rest of us have to live in? Why are all the rules set by tunnel-vision xenophobes with no aptitude for understanding or accepting other people's differences?
We can't afford to invest any money in: improving infrastructure, high-speed interstate passenger rail, maintaining and repairing existing freeway/highway systems, maintaining social security, maintaining social services, maintaining critical government agencies, improving public transit, maintaining schools and libraries, continued existence and enforcement of health and safety regulations... ...yet we always have enough money to spend on: drugs, alcoholic beverages, sports arenas and live performance venues, fancy nightclubs and expensive restaurants, exotic private motor vehicles, jails and prisons.
The United States is a lot like rock n'roll... ...it's still carrying on... ...but without the passion, enthusiasm, and creativity of it's once glorious past.
SUMMER (THE FIRST TIME) by Bobby Goldsboro...from 1973... Have you ever listened to the lyrics of that song? Ahh-hh-hhh...let us return to the days when---apparently---it was the "norm" for middle-age ladies to take it upon themselves to "teach the 'facts-of-life'" to teen-age boys... ...WITHOUT the fear of the type of legal repercussions of such behavior which has become so much the "norm" of modern-day society the last two decades or so... ...yes, it IS such a pleasant and compassionate song...the character in the song is actually paying homage to the "saintly" neighborhood "cougar" savior for the way she also enhanced his self-esteem as well in the process. ...or was it actually "corruption of a minor"? ...of course the song's character's age WAS "17"---maybe the "age of consent" was lower than 18 in the state they lived in... ...either way this type of scenario would never fly today...
...that the only area the world's made any progress in within the last 20 years... ...is that of digital technology?
All other areas have either completely atrophied or degenerated: ---Cultural/social climate ---Professionalism ---Civility ---Discretion/rational behavior and judgment ---General overall intelligence ---Historical knowledge ---Literacy skills ---Beneficial government programs: ---Space travel/exploration ---Social services ---Public school systems ---Health and safety regulations ---Upkeep and maintenance of government-owned lands and structures ---Government agencies endowed with the responsibility towards supporting artistic and public-supported institutions and entities. ---Morality and social ethics ---Progress in becoming a more integrated society ---The overall business climate ---The quality of commercial popular culture: ---Popular Music/ The music industry ---Television and movies ---Magazines and newspapers ---News and information programs ---The professional conduct by those-in-charge: ---Authority figures ---Broadcasters ---Business owners ---Politicians and other public servants ---Commercial transportation: Airlines; Bus lines ---Operators of commercial vehicles (e.g.: truck drivers) ---Government employees ---Celebrities/entertainers ---Public highway systems (in disrepair and either not maintained or undermaintained) ---Infrastructures (in decay and disrepair) ---Quality of consumer products ---The physical and biological condition of this planet ---Emergency-response agencies
I often find it unnerving to go out in public, although it's a necessary evil if one wishes to accomplish needed tasks as well as pursue a few pleasurable ones as well (shopping, eating out, and so forth).
But it taxes one's sanity and composure to always never-be-able-to-go-anywhere-without-constantly-being-in-someone's-way. Why so many people? And most seem to be little more than obstacles---in-the-way, interfering with my freedom-of-movement and very imposing as I have to dodge cars, bicycles, and sidewalk-hogging pedestrians constantly. It's not like anyone is "friend" or "lover" material. Or helpful in any way as I almost always have to take care of my affairs and responsibilities myself, which can often be quite complicated---not in the abstract sense (a la 9-movement symphony or nuclear physics or rocket science), but more in terms of their being multifaceted in overall content. That is, due to all the procedures and steps I have to take in carryng out certain necessary tasks. One look at the laundry-list of any one of my domestic duties and one can tell right away: "This is gonna take a LOT longer than 5 minutes...or even a mere half-hour." These people are just "strangers". Judgmental, untrustworthy, bigoted, despotic and domineering. Thin-skinned and too-easily-offended. Maybe ready to take advantage of me somehow... and likewise, they're dubious of me as well. Not candid or straightforward. They're definitely no asset to me, for sure.
It wouldn't be so bad if there was some variety of personality and character. But it seems that most people have "mass-produced" personalities. It's like they choose from a half-dozen cookie-cutter personas based on their gender, social class, ancestry/ethnical background, sub-culture they associate with, age---and so forth. In a world with---what?---20 billion people or so, it's tragic that most people are such "think-alike" clone-heads, needing some demographical identity to determine how they behave, think, what kind of character and personality to project, what's suppose to give them pleasure or what's suppose to upset/offend them.
It's just that the hypothetical potential for individuality, diversity, and fresh unique concepts and ideas should be much more than it turns out to be. But everyone wears the same clothes, speaks the same lingo, watches the same thing on television, listens to the same music, owns similar type of possessions, share the same beliefs, have the same opinions, share the same interests, have the same set of cliche personalities, and so forth.
So...what are all these so-called "individuals" worth? If most of them are so easily "duplicated"? What's the sense in all these people cluttering up the planet, consuming all the resources, leaving their pollution and garbage everywhere, invading each others' lives with their domineering attitudes and radical viewpoints, taking up each others' spaces constantly---if they're all so "alike"?
And could the World Court ever be bold enough to initiate some kind of mandated martial-law decree requiring that 90% of the world's population be sterilized---even as an "emergency environmental measure" of some sort?
That may sound a bit harsh to some. But, then again, so do a lot of "politically-correct" mandates of the past quarter century as well as laws based on such. I think my proposal, while being just as brutal, is a lot more practical-minded than a lot of those recently-passed laws.
It's no secret: Businesses and government agencies have become incessantly obsessed with figuring out as many ways of "saving money and profits" as one could ever possibly can...
Laying off employees; using cheaper materials and expedient methods to cut production cost; curtailing employee perks and benefits; outsourcing or hiring illegal foreigners who do the same work for less pay ---and other such "ethical business practices".
Yes, they all want to "save money" any way they can. So....what do they plan to do with all this "extra money"? ...Perhaps all these CEOs and hot-shot politicians will pool all these extra earnings of theirs and put together a special fund which goes towards, perhaps, refurbishing and repairing this country's infrastructure: fix all the highway/freeway bridges, upgrade the roads, improve public and commercial transit systems, inspect and repair the dams, pipelines, utility facilities---and the like...
...but I doubt it. Most likely they'll spend whatever they acquire on their own hedonistic/ephemeral pleasures and desires.
How about a new Mercedes? But...what happens when you're flying down the fast lane of the freeway and suddenly your brand new Mercedes just craps out? The gear-shaft just shatters for no apparent reason? Or the tire rod breaks? And you're stuck there in the far-left lane with traffic coming at you from behind full speed?
Yes, guys, what you've overlooked is the fact that it's not just you or your company who've done all this "cutting back" to "save money" and "increase revenue". EVERYBODY'S done the same thing as well. Even the companies who make "high-end" products of the kind you buy. They're outsourcing and hiring ignorant "urban-ghetto losers" from third-world countries for 1/10th wage as well. ...and with that, forget "the nuances of Mercedes engineering." You're now just paying extra for the namesake. The type of workers who gave all these reputed companies and manufacturers their good name and reputations---GONE! Along with their unions and wages. They were too expensive to hang onto. Even in today's social/economic climate they would STILL be nervy enough to demand they be paid what they're actually worth (substance-wise). So "out-the-door" they went.
The same goes for most other goods and services one purchases or invests in...the quality is no longer there---regardless of the price-range of such.
This is to say: You guys now have all this "extra money" to spend on luxuries and nice material things... ...but all that exists now is mostly crap---even in the higher price ranges. Which means there aren't all that many things worth buying anymore. You're mostly stuck with all this "extra money" and nothing worth spending it on.
Just where do the well-to-do live? In mansions with faulty plumbing and wiring---and poor construction and design. Just what do the well-to-do drive? BMWs that end up on the "recall" list 6 months after they roll off the assembly line.
Yes, folks, I'm getting quite "burned-out" by all the activities zipping their way back-and-forth over the "lines".
For one thing, the Internet's gotten way too commercial in the past decade or so. Too many ads, not only on commercial sites but also on a lot of personal ones as well---including most blog sites. Not to mention self-starting video commercials "built-into" a lot of sites to boot.
Also, too many sites comprising photo downloads and transferred videos as well. Often more photos and video content than actual transcript.
Those are among the factors which hamper efficient and quick loading onto one's computer when trying-to-view-the-site. It's true we've come a ways since the primitive early days of the consumer-available internet services---however, with the quicker more-efficient computers and internet-provider services there also came the propensity to "take advantage" of this improvement-in-technological-units and thus load onto sites far more than what used to comprise sites in the past. One disadvantage of this current-day practice is that most web sites have so much electronic clutter on them that it can take almost as long for a site to load as it did in the "early days" of the consumer internet era. (God forbid anyone should still be dependent on a dial-up service)
Another factor in "the Internet losing face with me": The content of a lot of sites. Granted, there a lot of subjects which don't interest me. And it makes sense that I simply don't view them. But then there are all these radical sites featuring some really strongly opinionated individuals. Just about all of them politically oriented. Or derisive excuses for social commentary. I don't know where all these crusaders come from nor how anyone can be so confident as to be as self-righteous as they are, but they sure love going off about corruption, prejudices, and social inequality. So...just what ARE their solutions to these age-old problems and how do they propose to carry out their plans? What they write about is nothing new. That type of stuff has always been going on since the beginning of time---mostly covertly, of course. However, in recent decades it's been getting harder to keep things concealed, hence things are now found-out-about which, in the past, might of continued to "stay-under-wraps". And the attitudes of a lot of those-in-charge is that of: Yes, folks, we've ALWAYS been "taking you for a ride", what about it? Well, now that "the-cat's-out-of-the-bag" we don't have to "sugar-coat" ourselves anymore---we can be as blunt about where we're coming from as we want.
And even in the case of sites which DO have interesting content, one can only talk(write) about the same subject matter for so long and so many times over before even IT becomes tedious and redundant. And then I'm bored with just reading about it and reading other people's opinions about it as well. I just want to enjoy the subject itself without being bogged-down by "opinions on it".
So there you have it---I'm worn-out by all the slow-loading sites which take their turns at "seeing which one can finally fry my hard-drive once-and-for-all via overworking it to the hilt". And by all the self-righteious "social/political-conscience" hacks who are apparently "out to save the world from corrupt governments and authorities". And all other manners of the mindless fluff which permeates these cyber-lines and cyber-waves. Oh, and let's not forget about all these illustrious cyber-vandals. Those who hack their way into other people's sites and/or who infect the lines and waves with various electronic viruses. The omni-presence of such charming individuals are but one more reason this here internet system has lost face with me.
The days of "high-tech worship" are limited for me, I think...
I'm in the stall of McDonald's and I can't get the door open to get out when I'm finished. So I simply push harder on the door---it's jammmed for some reason. So I push harder on it until it breaks and falls over, hanging only by it's bottom hinge. That's when i realize: the door swings in, not out. "Ohhh!" I think---too late to undo the effects of my dumbass behavior. But that's essentially the despotic aspect of human nature: If something doesn't budge it simply means you're not using enough force. Just push it harder until it finally gives. Or, maybe: If someone doesn't respond to what you're saying, it simply means you're not being assertive enough. Shout a little louder and be more demanding of them to abide what you tell them to do or to understand your point of view. As you can see---your way isn't the only way to do things ...and if someone's not responding to you (or the way you would want them to) it might mean they're either ignoring you or they just don't see eye-to-eye with you. In other words: "Don't push it."
December 7 1941 The attack on the U.S. Navy Base in Pearl Harbor by the Japanese Air Force.
December 8 1980 The murder of ex-Beatle John Lennon.
It's kind of ironic that the late ex-Beatle's second wife, to whom he was married at the time, happened to be Japanese. ...And that December 7th and 8th of both years---1941 and 1980---happened to be Sunday and Monday, respectively.
Let's see now---what did I forget to mention during my absence from this site?
Oh, yeah---Happy Birthday Gordon Lightfoot! It was Thursday November 17 the iconic singer/songwriter turned 73!
And the late Andy Rooney---the much-maligned journalist and television commentator genius who epitomized and mastered the concept of observational humor and commentary. His observations were dead-on and presented with unbridled candidness.
Last Tuesday, November 29, marks the tenth anniversary of the passing of ex-Beatle George Harrison---who died from, I believe, either throat cancer or lung cancer on Thursday November 29 2001.
I don't know how to feel about all these "occupiers" who've been in the news so much lately. I have my mixed emotions about them.
Don't get me wrong---I also have low opinions of modern-day government, business and industry. I, too, think most corporations are little more than skin-flints and scam artists, and that most politicians are despotic elitist snobs, and that most authority figures are paternal/maternal power-and-control freaks who suck up to the whims of the overprivileged and impressionable sycophantic "socially-correct" types.
However, being a bonafide pariah, I've also never gotten along much with most "average" type people either---except,occasionally, on a one-on-one basis. And even then it would only be these select individuals I'd get along with, not everybody-in-general.
And that's where my dilemma is with this "Occupy" movement. A lot of those who are protesting the current crop of "status-quoers" are folks who used to be among the middle/upper-middle class. That is, they used to be among the "regular" somewhat privileged classes before the pay cuts, layoffs, cut-backs and the like. At one time someone "out-of-place" would stroll into a McDonald's or a Denny's, and if they looked too conspicuous or behaved too eccentrically the police would escort this individual out of the place---and it was done on behalf of all these socially-correct "mainstream"-type people. To appease their "impressionable masses" going through the charades of "looking out for their safety". ("Keep the freaks and weirdos away".) And it was a lot of these people who are now "in the streets" who were among those "masses". And that's why I don't know whose side to be on in this matter.
Of course now that a lot of them have themselves now been "reduced" in social rank and status they're experiencing quite a "culture shock". Now that they're being subjected to a lot of the strongarm tactics by their precious "civil servant" authorities which used to be reserved for minorities and freaks and weirdos, they're crying "foul"...because they're not suppose to be the ones being treated that way. I mean included among those manhandled and even arrested are retired police chiefs and formerly respected small business owners.
Wow! From an experience pariah I can only say: "Welcome to the club folks! Be ready to compromise yourselves and even your whole lives for that matter. Because from here on out THIS is to be your norm."
It's error is human. To really screw things up requires a know-it-all "educated mother-fucker" type who's "never wrong".
I couldn't care less about "getting along with others". I've learned my lesson about that a long time ago. Too often "getting along" means "going along with"...someone else's ideas and personal standards...everything being about what's fitting for them and to hell with compromise and accommodating my needs and desires...
SEXISM AT IT'S FINEST... Does anyone else besides me ever get tired of all these women who think of their bodies as being some kind of "sacred temple"? Secretly, now, wouldn't it be great to run into some fine-looking lady who considered her body "an amusement park" for a change?
Someone goes to college for years learning a profession followed by a long internship to refine their skills in said field... ...or, if blue-collar, someone enters into a long apprenticeship to learn a skilled trade and to refine their skills and knowledge of such... ...and, upon completion they're ready to go out into the world with their skills and knowledge... ...naturally these people are going to charge more for their services being that they're now "first-rate" in their field... ...so what do all the businesses, government agencies, landlords, shopkeepers and such do? ...they always hire the "lowest bidder"---the one who charges the least amount to do the same work... ...and so you have all these professional-grade people who can't find work while you have a plethora of cheaply-made products, poorly-done repair jobs, poorly-designed structures made from cheap materials, and poor service provided by some of the most uninspired individuals one could ever run into... ...and one wonders why the economy is tanking and why the U.S. is now so "third world".
Have you ever noticed?...that anytime you're at the helm of the ship and someone else pushes you out the way so they can steer, the ship always ends up changing direction?
Living in this society is like... ...an elementary schoolroom where the teacher asks a question, and instead of a few kids raising their hands, everyone in the class starts shouting out answers all at once. ...an episode of Ed Sullivan in which he introduces the first act and every act comes onto stage at once and try to perform. (And poor Mr. Sullivan can't just get-disgusted-and-quit, as CBS would sue him for breach-of-contract.) ...attending the Who concert in Cincinnati in December 1979. In short, no sense of sanctity, boundaries, propriety, or discretion. It's all "Me first!"